The Basil Hetzel Institute for Translational Health Research is the productive research arm of The Queen Elizabeth Hospital. The Institute, a $19 milliion purpose-built research facility, was opened in March 2009 and is located on Woodville Road opposite the main campus of The Queen Elizabeth Hospital. It is located 15 minutes from the Adelaide CBD in the city's western suburbs.

All research departments have strong links to the clinical divisions within the Hospital underpinning The Institute's overarching focus on translational health research. This 'bench to bedside' approach is at the forefront of an emerging area of medical science that aims to improve public health through collaborative discoveries and innovations in patient care, education and research.

Research conducted by The Institute covers a broad spectrum, exploring causes, potential improvements in therapeutic outcomes and the prevention of some of the most serious and common health conditions facing our community today. These include cancer, cardiovascular disease, arthritis, diabetes, respiratory diseases and stroke.

The Institute also has long-standing teaching and research affiliations with the University of Adelaide, the University of South Australia and Flinders University, which offer a range of undergraduate and postgraduate research training opportunities. Several academic departments, including the University of Adelaide Disciplines of Surgery, Medicine and Psychiatry, are based at the Hospital.

Our Focus

Being part of The Queen Elizabeth Hospital campus means researchers at the Institute can work closely with the hospital’s clinical divisions. This has led to a focus on translational health research, an innovative ‘bench to bedside’ approach in which scientific discoveries can be quickly translated into improved patient care and treatment. 
This approach works both ways with information gathered by clinical studies about the nature and progression of diseases at the ‘bedside’ also providing new clues and directions for ‘bench’ research.
Research at the Institute is closely linked to the diseases and health issues that are most prevalent in the regional community and treated at the hospital. These include: cardiovascular, cancer, chronic inflammation, population epidemiology, transplantation immunology, vascular surgery, drug response, stroke, and, surgical technologies and training.
As part of a strong commitment to collaborative research, five research ‘themes’ or centres have also been established through Program Grants funded by the Hospital Research Foundation. The aim is to bring together researchers from various disciplines to encourage an exchange of ideas and to create new research directions.  

Click on each individual Program for more information: 

The Hospital Research Foundation has committed in excess of $5 million to these Programs which began in 2009. The Foundation also has funded more than $1 million in equipment for The Institute.

Professor Basil Hetzel AC

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The Queen Elizabeth Hospital was opened in 1954 and quickly established a reputation as a leader in medical research. In 1965, Australia's first successful kidney transplant operation was performed at the Hospital.

The Hospital's research arm is named in honour of one of Australia's 'masters of medicine', Professor Basil Hetzel, AC.

Professor Hetzel was the first Professor of Medicine at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital and his research linking iodine deficiency with intellectual disability and deformities in infants has had a profound impact on global public health.

His work found that many common illnesses for people in developing countries, such as goitre and cretinism, could be prevented by introducing iodine into the diets of pregnant women. This led to an international campaign to incorporate iodised salt into the diets of communities where iodine was lacking.

The initial work for his project was carried out by Professor Hetzel's team at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital from 1964-68. Its significance for humanity on a global scale remains an inspiration for today's researchers.

Over the decades, Professor Hetzel has maintained a close interest in research conducted at The Institute and remains one of its great supporters. In March 2004, the National Trust named Professor Hetzel as one of Australia's National Living Treasures.

Our Facilities

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The Institute’s $19m purpose-built research centre provides researchers, clinical and academic staff, and students with modern health and medical research facilities.
Built by the South Australian Government as part of a major redevelopment of The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, it was officially opened by the Premier, Mr Mike Rann, and Professor Basil Hetzel, AC, in March 2009.
The building is a modern mix of laboratory and clinical research space and its open, flexible laboratory floor plan has been specifically designed to enhance collaboration and interaction among researchers, and to allow for changing research space needs.
The western side of the upper two storeys of the building is used for laboratory space which is linked via a glass atrium to office space on the eastern side. Break-out spaces, balconies and meeting rooms provide dedicated areas for both formal meetings and informal gatherings.
The facility provides 24 hour access to shared office and laboratory areas (individual workstations) and adequate laboratory/bench space. An active external seminar program runs from April to December each year and an active postgraduate seminar program runs from March to December.

 Core facilities:

  • Fully certified PC2 laboratories
  • Microscope suite (IVIS, confocal, laser disection microscope)
  • Flow cytometers
  • Real time PCR
  • Bio-Plex
  • Liquid Nitrogen storage facility
  • Mass spectrometers

Other features include:

  • Smaller specialised rooms in addition to open plan laboratory space.
  • Seminar and meeting rooms, including a lecture theatre seating up to 80 people.
  • Common room for lunch, tea breaks and general ‘catch-ups’ on the ground floor.
  • Full kitchen facilities.
  • Shower facilities on each level
  • A secure (access controlled) bike lock-up/storage area
  • Car parking (fees apply)
  • Easy access to CBD with good links to public transport including bus stops outside the building and on nearby Port Road.
  • Across the road from the hospital’s ‘Lizzie’s Café’ and next door to a local café.
  • Excellent hospital childcare centre adjacent to the research centre
  • On site Facility Manager and Research Secretariat.
Research groups interested in looking to join or to use the Institute’s facilities should contact the BHI’s Facility Manager Kathryn Hudson. 
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